My smile for the week is once again one of my paintings. I did this one last Sunday after Midnight Raven, which turned out so well (considering my “abilities”) that I jumped right into another. Well! I think the results speak for themselves, unfortunately.
While the Midnight Raven tutorial told us exactly how to paint the raven, along with everything else, the Alien Butterflies tutor did NOT. They focused on the background and clouds, which came out okay, but then basically said now do the butterflies. Huh? I need HELP! I couldn’t follow along with their quick, perfect strokes, which is why my butterflies look like a 5-year old did them (no offense to little kids).
Yet, I learned how to layer clouds, which is important… and I discovered I have a fan brush in my set, which makes splattered stars a lot less messy than the dopey way I did them previously. I am so excited about my stars and clouds that I’m going to paint an outer space scene next!
Btw, the name of the tutorial is Mystical Visitors, but I’m calling my work Alien Butterflies. 👽🦋
In the context of blogging and writing, what do you think is more important: what you say or how you say it?
I assume most are going to say HOW, so I’m tempted to say WHAT, just to be contrary, but the truth is… I think they are equally important depending upon the nature of the post. 🙃
Forex, I will not follow bloggers who jabber nonsense about conspiracy theories or offer links to stupid YouTube rantings, no matter HOW they say it. I do not wish to engage with anyone who defends the twice-impeached former POTUS in any manner whatsoever. I’ve been unfollowing those who post lies about the recent US election or jumbled mutterings about dark forces. I don’t care how nicely they fling these turds, it is the WHAT that matters to me. Same goes for most idiotic conspiracy posts unless they’re totally silly or benign.
But if we’re talking about creative fiction, then it’s the HOW that matters more than the WHAT. Many of us begin with the same prompt words or images and come up with vastly different interpretations because our creativity flows down different paths. The interesting aspect to me is HOW someone’s mind works to create a piece of fiction or poetry, not the subject matter so much.
When I write, I consider both aspects, more focused on WHAT I’m saying when I’m ranting about something (The Monday Peeve) and diving deeper into HOW I’m saying it when I’m creating a piece of fiction or poetry.
Is it more important to you to be a good blogger, or a community player or… what?
Ideally, they both would collide in a beautiful explosion of fame and money, but alas…
Here’s the thing. I call BS on anyone who says they’re only blogging for themselves. Then why write in public? Have a private blog or keep your thoughts locked in a Word document. Every blogger/Tweep/FB poster, etc. is hoping for an audience, though some are more attention-seeking than others. That said, I am okay with only a little bit of community engagement, and I will continue to post writing I enjoy even if it doesn’t get as many views/comments as other writing. But if I find that a type of writing gets ZERO engagement? I probably would discontinue it or seriously tweak it ~ in this case adjusting both the WHAT and the HOW to attract more views/comments. Otherwise, why bother writing in public? This is a huge reason why I became disenchanted with Twitter and Medium: little to no actual engagement.
‘Moji Needs Attention
I found that my whining about dating and relationships generated a lot of views and engagement. But was it “good bloggery?” I decided it wasn’t. I grew uncomfortable with those posts and have discontinued them, even deleting some of the whinier ones from the blog altogether. (Yes, I know people who received them in email may still have them, etc.) I kept the best dating stories however and gave them their own page.
So in that case, the community engagement was a negative, especially when people gave me unsolicited advice about how to be “better” on dating sites as if the problem was me and not the sites themselves with their scam accounts, liars, cheaters, and overall creepy men. It didn’t matter HOW I wrote about this stuff because people gravitated to the WHAT and responded by trying to “fix Paula’s issues” instead of giving me the commiseration I sought. When I find a particular subject matter isn’t working for me, I avoid it in the future.
One ordinary morning everything changed. She made the usual breakfast and dressed just the same, feeling stuck in the rhythm of dull day after day. She tidied the house while bemoaning her plight and then realized Kitty must have escaped in the night. Donning a coat, she wandered outside, calling his name–where could he hide? When she got to the gate, it yawned open wide, not locked, but showing her a path of escape. She followed the swish of Kitty’s bold tail, the lure of the unknown lifting her veil.
PCGuyIV continues his prompt series with a question about directions.
When it comes to navigation in unfamiliar territory, do you shun technology, relying on traditional maps and written directions, or do you leave the atlas behind letting GPS and Google Maps guide the way?
First, despite being online all the time, I’m generally a luddite and dislike adding new tech into my life. It’s all so complicated and glitchy, imo, and I get more enraged when it fails than I ever did when the normal ways of doing things didn’t work. Back then, I could say, OK, this didn’t work because I skipped a step and next time I’ll know better. But with technology, things simply happen that are out of our control and we can’t fix them. Like Facebook logged everyone off and sold our data to the Klingons. Or my home internet is down because of an outage. Or those effing WP blocks are screwy and ruined my posts…
That said, I totally rely on my GPS now and it’s been literally a lifesaver. I used to copy down directions from Yahoo maps and then end up not concentrating enough on the road because I was trying to read them while driving.
I love Google maps and navigation! I no longer bother printing out directions or scribbling them down. I have a terrible sense of “space” anyway (not merely NSEW) and have to override my impulse to do anything differently from what the nav is telling me. Luckily, I don’t travel obscure roads in the wilderness where GPS can mess up and send you into a pit of quicksand.
But even pre-plague, I didn’t like to go anywhere new, or anywhere period, so there’s that…
Welcome to my Tuesday Story prompt! I’ll post 3 unrelated photos and your job is to connect them in any order to write a story. You can do that in my comments or at your own blog and link back. Have fun!
Okay, so I followed Jim’s directions and did not start a new post from the main menu (where you are given only one option of starting a new post). I clicked on admin, then posts, then the drop down menu ~ this allowed me to begin a post with the Classic Editor instead of Blockhead. I’m really happy to be writing a post “normally” on my laptop instead of with those insane blocks.
As I’ve said, the one nice feature of blocks is the ability for me to save templates for my regular prompt posts. But it certainly wasn’t worth that tiny convenience yesterday when one of my blocks got messed up, saved itself, and ruined a dozen posts that WP would not let me edit! Remember that a reusable block will update in EVERY POST, not just the current one.
What’s funny is that posting from my app gives me no problems whatsoever (except that for my longer rants and such, it’s nice to have the real keyboard on my laptop), but on the browser, they want you to mindlessly default to blocks. Why? I don’t know! Blockhead posts couldn’t be seen properly in the app anyway, nor could blocks be edited there once scheduled. I had to preview my blog in a browser window if I wanted to check my post.
Melanie starts the week with a fresh set of SYW questions. I’m still in a big bad mood over WP blocks ruining a dozen or so of my posts last night. 😡
Is it necessary to trust someone you like? (friends, acquaintances or co-workers with whom you have no familial ties)
No, and I don’t trust many of them, if trust means do I think they’ll “be there” for me if I need help or whatever. Some I trust for this, but you never really know how people will behave until they do something, or don’t. Most relationships are transactional (I don’t necessarily mean money), so as soon as you can’t do something, poof! For example, there was someone I thought of as a good friend who dumped me when I didn’t want to go on a hike that would have hurt my back. Poof!
If we’re talking about trust as in do I believe they won’t steal my wallet, that’s just a bare minimum of allowing someone into my life.
Do you hold grudges? What do you do when someone really irritates you?
Yes, and I think it’s smart to do so, at least after you’ve given someone a few chances. Why would you want to forget how they are and allow them back to dump on you again? People don’t change. I don’t mean I allow thoughts of them to consume my days, but a certain amount of ill-will is important to maintain so I don’t forget. In my younger days, I would forget, let them back, and ugh disaster. This is especially true in dating type situations.
When I’m really super duper irritated with someone long-term, as opposed to a flash of annoyance, I try to get them out of my life as fast and as thoroughly as I can.
What’s the most sensible thing you’ve heard someone say?
This too shall pass…
Is crying a sign of weakness or strength in adults?
It’s not a sign of anything other than a biological process. Some people cry easily, and on cue, and some don’t. I try not to let it influence me one way or another. Hell, I cry at the dumbest things, and it means nothing.
GRATITUDE SECTION(Always Optional)
What small things were you grateful for this week?
Grateful for the ability to waste a bit of money on my new painting hobby, which I’m enjoying a lot, even though I’ll never be great at it. It’s a wonderful break from the screen, though of course I follow along on YouTube tutorials!
Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the TMP tag, link back to me (or not), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen. I have feelings!
I normally don’t peeve about politics, cuz there is too much political jabbering everywhere, but today is an exception. This is a very specific peeve about Biden haters on the left. So, if you are politically on the right, this peeve does not apply to you. I’m talking about people left of center who never liked Biden in the first place but are now bitching and moaning that he hasn’t accomplished a series of miracles in the FIVE DAYS he’s been POTUS. FFS! We had 4 years of horrible, self-serving, incompetent leadership, yet Biden is supposed to fix every single thing that’s wrong in less than a week? End all the wars, eliminate COVID, clean up the environment, give everyone healthcare, solve the immigration mess, on and on. FIVE DAYS! Chill the eff out.
That’s all. I’ll be back with a trivial peeve next week.
Idk what the hell happened, but I had to delete my Song Lyric Sunday post just now, plus about a dozen past SLS posts. Somehow, I messed up my reusable block when I created next Sunday’s SLS post tonight and it affected many posts. WP wouldn’t let me edit today’s SLS post, remove the block, save new text… NOTHING. But next week’s scheduled post previews correctly, which makes no sense. I didn’t hate the blocks at first, but now I’m fully on the block-hate bandwagon. I also hate that everything about WP now is geared to marketing and money-making rather than writing. I wonder how long actual bloggers will stay here given what a pain in the butt blogging is. BTW, I hate blogger too.
I just paid the $48 to renew WP, lol. Figures as soon as I do, I end up in a rage at the whole site. Even more annoying, I already wrote my Monday peeve and don’t want to substitute this for it, but I need to rant now, so I can’t make this next Monday’s peeve. ARGH!
Speaking of Sunday night rants, let’s talk about Medium, which I b*tched about last week. I took the advice offered by several peeps, cancelled my subscription, and faded away. I have 47 posts there and will probably make another $5.00 (same as last month). As soon as I quit “clapping” (liking) other writers’ articles, my claps disappeared, proving that it’s just a bunch of BS, unless you’re one of the very few big fish who gobbles up a huge share of the pot. Even though a subscription is only $5/month, I don’t want to contribute that to the top writers who write about making money on Medium. Geez, what a racket. It wasn’t about making money for me though ~ it was about being read and just having my words OUT THERE in another venue. But since I didn’t perceive the place to be a community of people who CARED what I wrote, I switched to thinking okay maybe I can make some money. Nope. Bleh.
Anyway, thanks to all who responded last week ~ it was helpful. I’m just TIRED of doing things that aren’t fun and don’t generate results. I mean, I WORK a real job full-time, plus more, so I don’t need hobbies that cause me stress. That’s why I quit writing poetry on Twitter a while back and it’s why I’m not interested in writing another novel or poetry compilation to plop on KDP. As I asked last week, what is the effing point?